Gaza student protestors are ‘ignorant of history’

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton slammed protesters as “ignorant” [Getty]

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton slammed anti-Gaza war student protesters in the US on Thursday, saying the activists have limited knowledge of the history and politics of the Middle East region.

In an interview with the MSNBC show Morning Joe on Thursday, Clinton – who lost a US presidential race to Donald Trump in 2016 – said she’d had many conversations with young Americans over the past few months about Israel’s brutal war on Gaza.

“They don’t know very much at all about the history of the Middle East, or frankly about history, in many areas of the world, including in our own country,” she said, referring to the widespread pro-Gaza protest encampments around the US and globally.

She went on to claim that her husband, former President Bill Clinton made an offer to the former leader of the Palestinian Authority Yassir Arafat, which would have given Palestinians their own state.

“If Arafat had accepted [this offer] there would have been a Palestinian state now for about 24 years. It’s one of the great tragedies of history that he was unable to say yes,” she added.

The comments were made in response to a question from interviewer Joe Scarborough about the pro-Gaza protest encampments that have been erected from New York to Los Angeles.

Clinton alleged that activists on US campuses have been misinformed about the situation in Gaza – where around 35,000 Palestinians have been killed – and that students are being fed “propaganda” instead of receiving an education.

Israel’s war in Gaza has seen huge parts of the enclave flattened by Israeli bombing and shelling with almost the whole population made homeless and living off dwindling aid supplies.

“Anybody who is teaching in a university or anyone who is putting content on social media should be held responsible for what they include and what they exclude,” she said.

Clinton also hit out at content discussing politics and the Middle East on TikTok, saying a lot of it is “wilfully false” and “incredibly slanted, pro-Hamas, anti-Israel”, advising young people to avoid the platform if they want to learn about complex matters.

The US is currently in the process of banning TikTok.

Clinton’s remarks were widely denounced, saying it was a patronising assessment of the capabilities and knowledge of students, as well as her oversimplification of the failures of the Oslo peace process.

“Arafat said no to a bad deal, so everything that is happening now is ok? What about every time Israel said no? What about the time Biden arrived in Israel to the announcement of new settlements? To blame decades of faulty US policy on well-meaning students is pathetic,” said US and MENA commentator Jasmine El-Gamal.

“Mind you, most of these protesters have literally realised this is due to US censorship of foreign politics in schools curriculum and have done their research in college and on their own,” another social media user said.

Faculty-led encampments in US

This week, the US also saw the first faculty-led Gaza solidarity encampment protest at New York’s New School campus.

Over 20 professors and lecturers at the New York City college unfurled sleeping bags and pitched tents in a building located in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

The staff expressed their support of students who have been calling for a Gaza ceasefire and for the university to cut any financial ties to Israel and Israel-linked companies.

The encampment was launched on Wednesday and was inspired by the pro-Gaza protests that first started at Columbia University on 17 April, which have since triggered similar actions across the world.

Some of the protests across the US have been met with brutal force. Earlier this month, New York police arrested and suspended over 40 students.

A faculty member at New School told local media that they back the students’ demands and expressed their widespread support for the protests.

“Faculty knew that we had to step up- not just to make sure that this could not happen again, but the students’ demands that they fought so hard for, risked their lives and their careers and futures, that was not in vain,” they said.

“I’m seeing dead children on my screen every day. I’m seeing bodies pile up in the streets. I’m seeing mass starvation. So what are you seeing and how is that acceptable?” they added, demanding the university divest from Israeli interests.

New School said they would not pursue criminal charges against the student protesters who were arrested on 3 May. They also said they would be looking at their investments and reactivating a committee to examine divestments.


Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *